Spare the Rod and Spoil the child”, though an age old proverb, but unfortunate to say that it is still being believed upon and practiced in majority of schools, colleges and even at homes in our country with varying degree of intensity. Though generally considered as an educational strategy or technique it is not merely so. It is mainly and clearly a sad reflection on our mindset. Its like a “taming rein”. It means that all through one’s life the tamed child would require these reins to follow a particular desired path, as this attitude will get embedded in his personality unknowingly. It also means that this mindset would also be handed over to next generations as well in the form of an inheritance. At the end of the day the society and the nation will have to suffer alongwith the sufferings faced by the child. It we have to grow as a nation, We must allow our children to grow as per their liking, natural talent and inclinations. We cannot afford to liberalize our economy without liberalizing the children’s environment, the schools, colleges and the homes. Instead of forcing them by fearful tactics to adopt a rightful path, we should create a positive, healthy, liberalized & Sansakarik environment for them. We cannot and must not expect wonders from them without providing quality educational surroundings and environment. The fact is that wheather it is at schools or at homes the environment is least conducive. In many schools commercialization has overtaken the educational spirit. School, colleges are mushrooming as a business venture compromising at the cost of the need of quality education. Very few schools are identified by people as of some standard thereby bringing pressure and competitiveness in admissions in good schools. There is huge demand for good schools of standard but very few availabilities. Likewise the quality of teaching staff is equally horrifying. How can the child perform if he is deprived of good standard schools and qualified, dedicated teachers. At the same time very few parents are able to compensate this vacuum.
When all these elements are missing, all the pressure is to be borne by the child himself. In these adverse circumstances, the child needs psychological support to do his best. However, here again he feels cheated. The parents either do not have time, or ability to properly guide him or have their own unfulfilled aspirations and frustrations which results in developing the mindset of psychological aggression against the children. Here again the child has to feel the brunt. The story in many schools is all the more horrifying. Because of lack of educational spirit and qualified dedicated teachers and large number of students for a teacher to handle, the child is not properly taught or guided. But he has to show the results par excellence. This generates tension resulting in physical punishments to children being weaker & vulnerable. Besides, the mental tortures in the form of lowering the self esteem of the not so well performing children by onslaught of sarcastic remarks and gestures against the child aggravates the condition of the child who is sensitive and so vulnerable that he succumbs to its evil effects and his emotional stability gets affected. Newspapers and media reports very often come out with incidents of corporal punishments being awarded for even trivial matters like not wearing proper uniform, talking in the classroom or missing one’s homework, roaming in the corridors or coming late to the school. Teachers, instead of teaching in a proper way, pass off the burden on parents and browbeat them in Parent Teachers’ Meeting, resulting in parents further putting all sorts of pressure on children at homes. Now a days one also come across to see that many schools have started putting uniformed security guards inside the campus, in the school galleries, corridors and gates. Their presence in the galleries have the effect of terrorising the children and thereby it is ensured that they do not come out of classrooms at any time they wish, – a crude way of ensuring their presence in the classrooms. In nutshell, it can be well understood that the environment is hardly congenial, friendly- and supportive for the children to come out with their best potential. Rather the barbarous attitude in all probability will have the effect of inculcating the same mindset for generations to come, if unchecked in time. We have to be more awakened in this regard. Hopefully, the only silver lining in the present times is that the people and the government are getting more awakened and have started realizing the severity of the menace.
Section 17 of Right of Education Act 2009 (RTE) bars the corporal punishment. Another significant step has been taken to create a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) under the NCPCR Act 2005. Besides, the first children’s Court has been created in Goa and the second one will soon be opened in Delhi, others to follow the suit later. Many social organizations have already started the awakening programmes. Here lies the main cure. With the increased awareness, the barbarous mindset against the interest of our own children will soon be a thing of past and the nation along with happier children will be able to rise to the top.